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“You have to make the good out of the crap because you're up shit creek without a paddle.”
- ~ Robert Penn Warren's (Yankee writer) tagline for the film
The 1979 Andrei Tarkovsky film Сталкер, or Stalker in English. It is the adventure of three
losers characters to a bombed-out mysterious place called The Zone, is an enchanted place where the desires of men can be fulfilled. Stalker is a man whose affinity with escapism makes him the guide in the unforgiving shithole.
The film was inspired on an unfortunate incident where director Andrei Tarkovsky found that he was unable to find his way home after a weekend bender and was forced to enlist the aid of other Alcoholics to guide him home. Tarkovsky often commented on how ineffective the help was, as he frequently found himself naked in the middle of nowhere with a traffic cone hat and buttplug combo.
- Vladimir "Vlady" Verkovensky, the "Stalker" - A man whose wife is ugly and has flid daughter with telekinetic powers - took up "Stalking" to get away from it all.
- Boris "wise guy" Raskilnikov, the "Scientist" - Probably a teacher, and moans constantly, tries to blow everyone up when fired from teaching.
- Dmitry "Chimpo" Stavanger, the "Writer" - once wrote a piece for the local paper about corset making, now despot of University paper.
- Natalya Midget grouch Ivonovichivich, "Stalker's Hoe" - miserable imp wife, bane of Stalkers life.
Ten years ago there was and incident, reportedly an extraterrestrial presence manifested outside a Russian town – It was cordoned off by the military for fears of what effects this place had after several Russian battalions disappeared with a shipment of Vodka. Visitors to the supposed 'crash site' began to feel effects - their very dreams could become reality.
This being Russia however, the visitors could never satisfy themselves. Armed with a keen sense of economic gain, as well as disappointment, a new breed of people began to develop: Stalkers. They would take visitors past the military and provide safe passage though the Zone.
First part, we see the three meeting at the bleak pub to discuss the visit to the Zone...
Stalker: Well of course I’ll take you to the place where I may or may not have bumped off my best friend....
Writer: Great, were my features not permanently dour I would laugh and rejoice at his awesome news
Scientist: Yes indeed, I wish I was a writer also, and I would write an aside to show that intended your destruction...
All: Laugh, we're Russian and we find this somehow terribly amusing
Writer: So Vlad, what will we find on this Wizard of Oz style quest?
Stalker: You will find you deepest dreams realized in the Zone, once you leave this Soviet hell town, we will see the centre of it and find our desire amidst the maze and danger that is the Zone.
Scientist: What do you suppose it is...? I mean do you really suppose it to be extraterrestrial or is it the government?
Stalker: Not too sure to be honest, my wife’s a bit of a bother along with my gimp "Slash" telekinetic daughter. I just go there for the money and a bit of break really.
Scientist: Won't the government troops be a problem?
Stalker: No - for some reason they miss that Land Rover, probably the effects of the Zone, it’s a pretty fucked up place.
Writer: Well, I suppose we'd best be off
Stalker: yes, quite, maybe, possibly.... "Cough" (the three men arrange expenses)
A bleak and depressing image follows as he trio head outside of the ghastly Russian town; they promptly manage to get on the rail tracks and head deep into the Russian country side and toward the mysterious Zone
Stalker: Remember that this pace is slightly odd and if you bring gun or a bomb you will die
Scientist: Oh yes I'm up for the experience, I’ve wanted to take this dangerous holiday for years
Writer: So Scientist in this awkwardly long open sequences how much Pussy is their in Science?
Scientist: Quite a bit, don't rub it in though is what I say...
The men arrive at the beginning of the fabled Zone; the bleak surroundings mirror the hubris the Men feel at not being able to date hot Ruski Tennis Stars
Stalker: Well let us head down into this dangerous place that I've been telling you so much about
The scene opens with the men beginning to enter the building
Writer: Whoa, check out the blown up tanks and stuff
Scientist: Yeah, It really makes you wonder why we strapped guns to Ladas
Stalker: Shut up the pair of you, I’m trying to stress moodiness to all this stuff
Scientist suddenly becomes separated, possibly due to the Zone or due to the fact that the scientist is pissed out of his face...
Scientist: Oh crap, I'm lost...
Stalker: we have to find him, they'll blame me if he winds up dead, I’m already in shit over my best friend dying here, and I don't need this on my back.
Writer: Our innocence will surly protect us!?
Stalker: Shatfuck it will... c'mon we have to find him.
After going around in circles for a while (ages) the Scientist returns
Scientist: Guys, I’m feeling so depressed, more than usual. Thank God I found you again.
Stalker: Thank Christ indeed… myself and the writer broke out the vodey, you want some?
Scientist: Nah, I want some karaoke, Abba, specifically – I’m funny that way.
Writer: That’s kind of freaky and weird, but I like it....
Stalker: I see no harm in it, you paid a fair bit to go on this pointless trip, cheering you up is the least I can do.
Stalker and Writer prepare themselves to sing Abba, and begin the act for the scientist, an act which could only be called a macabre charade at best. The camera continues to roll as the Abba Vodka session triggers a massive pass out session for the trio.
Conclusion: The three men approach the outer room and the actual zone where there innermost desires will be fulfilled
Stalker: You head into the threshold...
Scientist: Why me, you go in!
Writer: I can't take this shit, I'll head in
Writer runs into the threshold via spooky tunnel, the other two cowards follow, after a while they arrive at an old pool just outside the room.
Scientist: Well, I've brought a bomb, I suggest you two try and get the fuck outta here.
Stalker: Can this wait? I always like to take a shit in the pool...
Writer: Why do you want to blow it away - don't you want you're dreams to be fulfilled. Think of the funbags, The Funbags!
Stalker: Indeed, we should not blow it up, my rent checks are bouncing and I have an alcohol problem. What do you expect me to do? Confront my life? Fuck off you Flid; it ain't happening, so get your miserable ass back to Chernobyl.
Scientist: I know you guys did Abba for me, but this place is a mistake.... We could not be happy if our desires could be fulfilled - we don't have the self-knowledge.
Stalker: You Vodka bottle jockeys get your ass in there... before you do, let me tell you a little about myself... three years ago I came to this place, I was drunk, and the army shot me in the ass as I came here with my Stalker/teacher Dmitry, he told me of this place where dreams could come alive and we entered this room. My life has never been the same since, you guys should try it. If you don't well, no refunds and no bollocks about blowing this place up, I need it to feel special.
Writer: Sounds alright to me, let all sit down here and weigh up what’s going on.
Scientist: Well, I won't blow us up if you do some more Abba...
Both: Of course... "Money money money".
Al three men being to settle down outside the room, none daring to enter for fear of what will happen, however unknown to themselves, they have already entered.
The camera pans away with the three men sitting outside of the room, and then a cut to Stalkers Wife begins.
Stalkers Hoe: I understand that this is somewhat unnecessary, however the Russian Authorities insisted on this sequence - basically all is well with the world and contrary to what you have seen, we (Stalker and I) are quite happy, as is our daughter. Thank you and goodnight comrades.
The Writer and Scientist return to the bar where they started and Stalker’s family go for a walk by the carcinogenic lake. We may assume that amidst these tiring end scenes that an idyllic "Russian" life ensues for Stalker's family.
- Stalker at the Internet Movie Database
- Stalker at Wikipedia